Rev. William A. Van Croft, Jr., an Episcopal priest, was the Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC following the promotion of Rev. Dillard H. Brown to Episcopal Bishop of Liberia.
Rev. Van Croft was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He served in the Army during World War II. Following his service, he attended St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC on the GI Bill, where he pledged Omega Psi Phi fraternity and played on the football team. He graduated in less than 4 years.
He entered General Theological Seminary in New York – considered one of the premiere institutions for theological study. After graduating, he began serving as Curate at St. Luke’s in DC, eventually becoming Assistant Rector and then Rector. He was Rector until his death.
Under Rev. Van Croft’s leadership, St. Luke’s became debt free and the church building was named a National Historic Site. His focus was on youth development.
While at St. Luke’s, Rev. Van Croft served as guest chaplin of the U.S. Senate, priest at Boy’s Town in Maryland, and Captain in the DC National Guard. As Captain, he patrolled the streets during the 1965 riots. He worked closely with the DC Police Department – and served on many civic boards – including St. Albans School in Washington, DC.
Rev. Van Croft was married twice – including to his childhood sweetheart Lillian.
Rev. Van Croft died of cancer in February 1984.